What are you searching for?
Select all

Travel Review: NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort, Central Coast


Looking for the ultimate family-friendly holiday destination that kids of all ages will enjoy (and parents too!)? We have found the perfect option that’s a short drive from the North Shore, and has all the bells and whistles to keep the whole family entertained. Our reviewer Bianka took her family to NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort at Umina Beach on the Central Coast, and shares her fun!

Finding holiday accommodation that ticks all the boxes on your wish list can be a tricky business. Fortunately, NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort at Umina Beach offers a dream combination of short travel time (less than 1 hour from Gordon on Sydney’s North Shore), easy access to a beautiful kid-friendly beach, fun activities for kids of all ages, comfort packed accommodation options and plenty to do within the resort and in the surrounding areas. But is it too good to be true? Local mum Bianka Ford finds out. (Spoiler: it’s perfect!)

Visiting Umina Beach

NRMA Ocean Beach Resort

NRMA Ocean Beach Resort, Umina

The Umina Peninsula really is our own little slice of paradise encompassing a variety of stunning family friendly beaches and a host of entertainment options. It’s far enough from the North Shore to feel “away”, but close enough to make travel time shorter than driving to the airport.

Accommodation here would just need to get it right and be a great holiday, but why stop at great? NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort certainly didn’t, opting instead to create a family-friendly utopia packed with incredible facilities and more activities than you will have time to do.

Layla enjoying the adventure playground

Located right on Umina Beach, NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort includes a dream list of facilities for kids, including:

  • Kids activities 364 days a year
  • Family activities and entertainment year-round, including their famous mini-festivals on the green
  • Jumping pillows
  • Adventure playground
  • Arcade
  • Tennis courts & basketball hoops
  • Bike & go-kart hire
  • Splash park
  • Two pool areas

We found the best value in the Reptile Park Adventure Package as it included family passes to the world-famous Reptile Park as well as a host of discounts and extras like the Family BBQ pack.


Inside a Palm Villa at Ocean Beach Resort

NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort offers over 25 different accommodation types, including self-contained cabins and villas, glamping style safari tents, and well-equipped sites to set up your tent or caravan.

Birthday celebrations for Layla!

We stayed in a Palm Villa which sleeps up to six people and provided everything we needed. The kids didn’t need to argue about who gets top bunk as there were two bunk beds in the kids’ room and the light filled loungeroom was big enough to do cartwheels in. Yes, this was thoroughly tested by Miss 7! Foxtel and wifi is included, though if you are picky about what to watch you might want to pack a cable to connect your device to the TV.

The kitchen was stocked with all the basics needed to cook up a storm, though we made use of the BBQ areas that are dotted all over the resort. There are dining areas in the villa, on the veranda or in common areas.

Make sure you keep an ear out for the sound of the seafood van, it’s like an ice cream truck but filled with prawns and other seafood instead of sweet treats! YUM!



The jumping pillow was a highlight!

I can’t tell you how much I loved seeing the flurry of active kids around the resort! Late afternoon looked like an 80s flashback with kids roaming the resort playing games, flying kites, bird spotting, scavenger hunting and riding their bikes in packs.

The Entertainment Barn had at least four scheduled activities each day covering craft, food and games activities. The resort has a dedicated Kids Entertainment officer who ensured that we didn’t hear “I’m bored” at any time!

Bear Grylls Survival Academy

Kids enjoying Bear Grylls Survival Academy

Parents need a holiday time out too, but why send the kids to an ordinary kid’s club when there is a Bear Grylls Survival Academy on site?

The Kids v. Wild program offers four missions which will captivate the kids while teaching them essential skills. Both Mr 13 and Miss 7 loved it, so it is suitable for a wide variety of ages. Here is the verdict from the people that matter (the kids):

“The Bear Grylls Survival Academy was heaps of fun because of the range of activities we could do. We learn to do things like make a tent out in the wild, tie different kinds of knots with ropes, and even use our footsteps as a tool to tell how far away things are! These were fun because we got to learn skills that could be useful if we ever got caught out in the wild. It was also interesting to learn the different methods of sneaking around and blending in with the environment. When we didn’t understand how to do something, our ranger helped us and showed us what to do differently or better.” -Jimi, 13


The ghillie suit

“It was so much fun! I loved playing hide and seek with the ghillie suit and meeting other kids that were staying there. You can never get bored!” – Layla, 7

The Australian Reptile Park

Meeting the koalas

“That’s my third favourite koala” I heard one of The Reptile Park’s keepers tell my 7-year-old.

It’s a great example of how the keepers don’t just take care of the animals, they know them and treat them like family. It makes all the difference as our experience wasn’t just wandering from one animal enclosure to another, we were wowed by happy koalas, interactive quokkas, and cheeky dragons.

Ready for a fun-filled day

Reptile Park’s head of education, Mick, doesn’t run your average animal show. His offbeat and true-blue Aussie humour keeps everyone entertained so it’s barely noticeable that each joke is carefully infused with information. You’ll walk away laughing and armed with priceless knowledge about our wildlife.

Patting the echidna

Along with the regular shows, we were delighted by some impromptu chats with keepers. Standing around the combined echidna and quokka enclosure was all it took for keeper Neville to jump in and share his knowledge of both animals then help the kids find quills that had fallen off the echidna to take as a souvenir! (word to the wise: careful where you put them because they are sharp! Ouch!)

The keepers left us with the message that nothing is impossible. Can’t breed tassie devils in captivity? Sure you can! Can’t have a death adder over 80cm? You can and they have them here. Can’t have a social relationship with an alligator? Yes you can, I just saw it!

The Reptile Park is an amazing family experience. You’d probably expect to see the terrifyingly large crocodiles and alligators, the spine-tingling variety of snakes and spiders, a variety of dragons and lizards plus frogs and turtles; but there is also an eclectic mix of animals living with the reptiles like dingoes, marsupials, and birds of all colours and sizes.

Enjoying a ‘cuddle’ with a python

To really make the most of your visit, my advice is to book the Snappy Pass. For $89.99 the whole family can jump into 4 photo sessions with some of the park’s stars. As part of the photo sessions, we patted lots of koalas, cuddled a baby Tassie Devil, felt the spikes of an alligator and got a “cuddle” from a python.

To read more about The Reptile Park, click here to read our review!

Things to do in Umina

Although you can easily spend all of your time at the resort, the Peninsula and wider Central Coast area offers an incredible array of family friendly destinations:

Travel Guide: Things to do with kids on the Central Coast

The Bottom Line

Beach holidays are a quintessential experience for many Australian families. NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort includes everything you need into one safe, fun filled place that will thrill all ages. Whether rain, hail or (hopefully) shine, you will find fun activities, spectacular sights and delicious food. We met people who travelled from all parts of the world to experience something that is right on our doorstep, so it makes perfect sense to put this amazing destination at the top of your must-do list.

Essential Details: NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Resort


Want more travel inspiration?


You may also like ...

What are you searching for?
Select all